Fully vaccinated players get green light to travel to Red List countries

Fully vaccinated players like Aston Villa’s Emiliano Martinez will be able to train and play upon their return from international duty this month provided they meet strict bubble conditions (David Davies / PA) (PA Wire)

Fully vaccinated players will be able to travel on international missions to Red List countries this month.

A tailored quarantine exemption has been agreed between the Premier League, government and health authorities, which will allow fully vaccinated players to travel and then play for their clubs upon their return.

The government confirmed the plans on Friday afternoon. The deal came after assurances were given that the players would be in Covid-secured “bubbles” with their national teams and upon their return to their clubs.

Arrivals from countries on the Red List, even those who are doubly vaccinated, usually must be quarantined for 10 days in a government-approved hotel.

It is understood that players will not be able to quarantine themselves at home and instead must use a club facility, which they can only leave once a day to train or play.

A government spokesperson said: “We have worked closely with the football authorities to achieve a result that balances the interests of the club and the country while maintaining the highest levels of public health and safety.

“Our best defense against the virus is vaccination and these new measures will allow fully vaccinated players to carry out their international duties in the safest and most convenient way possible, while still allowing them to train and play. with their clubs as soon as possible upon their return. . “

Brazil have already called up eight Premier League players, while Mexican federation president Yon De Luisa told PA earlier this week he called Wolves forward Raul Jimenez but the club were waiting always the advice of the Prime Minister. League.

Covid security measures around Red List players are in addition to existing emergency protocols implemented by Premier League clubs.

Under the new agreement, players would train and play while fulfilling their mandatory 10-day quarantine and self-isolate outside of their professional duties.

Premier League and EFL clubs have collectively refused to release players for international service in Red List countries for the September international break.

    (PA wire)

(PA wire)

It first appeared that this position would lead to prohibiting players from representing their clubs within five days of the end of the break, after a request made by four national associations – including that of Brazil – on Fifa to impose a automatic restriction.

However, the request was dropped after what Fifa called “positive signals and constructive dialogue” with the British government.

Since then, Fifa President Gianni Infantino has met Prime Minister Boris Johnson at a United Nations meeting in New York, where the two discussed, among other things, “the ongoing cooperation established to support travel during international windows and partnership to ensure equal opportunities for all ”.

Mexican FA President De Luisa said earlier this week that he was confident in a deal and told the PA: “We are really looking forward to [having] the understanding of the Premier League and the British authorities that these are special cases, they are not regular travelers.

“We work closely with the clubs, not only in Mexico but also with clubs in Europe, so everyone knows that there is no risk to the health of the players, or any additional risk, when they come to play with us. “

Aston Villa director Dean Smith said on Friday that Argentinian Emiliano Martinez and Marvelous Nakamba from Zimbabwe had to travel on international assignments.

“My understanding is that right now the authorities and the government are working together to come up with a bespoke sports deal where the players can go and play and we can actually bring them back and they can play in the game when they come back as well,” said the owner of the Villa.

“But obviously with everyone’s safety being of paramount importance because we don’t want this to spread anymore so hopefully there will be an agreement in place.”

Villa struck a deal to release Martinez and Emiliano Buendia for service with Argentina last month.

The couple trained in Croatia, a Green List country, before returning to the UK after the last window to avoid having to stay in a quarantine hotel.

Martinez was caught by the abandonment of his country’s World Cup qualifier against Brazil in Sao Paulo.

Health officials entered the pitch accusing him, along with Tottenham couple Cristian Romero and Giovani Lo Celso, of breaking Brazilian quarantine rules.

The circumstances surrounding this match are now the subject of a disciplinary investigation by Fifa.

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